Sky shares were down 6.32 per cent to 89c in early afternoon trading after the company predicted more headwinds in 2020.

Before the market opened, the pay TV provider offered its first earnings guidance for its 2020 financial year this morning, saying it expects revenue between $750 million and $770m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $170m between $190m.

For fiscal 2019, Sky had ebitda of $230m (against the year-ago $285m) on revenue that fell 6.8 per cent to $795m.

The pay-TV provider says its guidance reflects its recent purchase of global streaming player RugbyPass in a deal worth up to US$40m and other new content and production deals, plus the cost of its continuing moves to upgrade its streaming services.


Sky said the new guidance also accounted for its Sky Sport Next initiative, which focuses on grassroots sports, as well as new lease accounting standards.

The company said it wanted to highlight the investments and Sky's transformation programme again because there was a wide range of analysts' forecasts that may not have appropriately reflected the change in accounting standards, the acquisition of RugbyPass, and new content.

Sky shares - already touching an all-time low - sank 7 per cent to $1.13 on August 22 as the company revealed reduced adjusted net profit (and a massive paper loss of $607.8m on the back of write-downs) and suspended its dividend for the foreseeable future.

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The company says it will have to pay more for rights and programming as it faces a sports insurgency from Spark, and entertainment companies like Disney (with Disney+) and HBO (with HBO Max, launching in May next year) who are using new streaming services to reach viewers directly.

Disney+ launches in New Zealand tomorrow. Sky earlier said it would shutter its two Disney channels by the end of this month. They will be replaced by BBC kids channel CBeebies and a still-the-works new family channel.

Sky shares hit a low of 88c on October 10, then staged a modest rebound after Sky announced it had secured a new Sanzaar deal, involving a cash payment (said to be $400m) plus 5 per cent of its shares.